First of all, a heartfelt congratulations to all those of you who cleared the first round, i.e. the IIFT 2019 entrance test. After taking such an intense paper and scoring well in the exam, you deserve a pat on the back. But once the celebrations are over, it's time to re-adjust your focus and start preparing for the WAT-GD-PI rounds. But, before that, you need to finish another mammoth task - the IIFT Interview form. Filling and writing correct answers in the form are important because you will be asked questions based on that. This requires some serious introspection, which you can only do by looking into yourself, finding logic in your past decisions and how they helped you become who you are today. Want some help in doing that? This article will be your helpful guide and give you tips that may help you fill the form. Read the full post to know more.
Interview Form Question
Based on the questions that have been asked in the past three years, we have compiled a list of 10 common questions and how to answer them. They are:
Name one person who has inspired you to pursue a career in management, and in what way?
- It need not be some big business figure like Dhirubhai Ambani or Ratan Tata. This person could be anyone - your boss, colleague, friend, teacher, sister or even your father.
- You need to portray how he/she has inspired you.
- Don’t mention money, power or lifestyle as they never the acceptable reason to pursue an MBA.
- Talk more about the value that you learnt from your role model and how you can vision yourself practising those similar values in your career in management.
- In case, you don’t know anyone who has done an MBA, just narrate obstacles which you or a Non- MBA acquaintance face in the workplace, and how an MBA degree could help.
What professional achievement are you aspiring to in the short and long term?
- At times these questions do specify long term and short term. Eg- 10 years (long term), 5 years (short term). However, when the questions are open-ended like the one mentioned above, you can either make your own specification like - 2 years for short term and 6 years for long term or just be generic.
- Keep your goals and achievements as precise as possible.
- If you are unsure of what to write, first imagine an end goal in mind. For example - You can aspire to be a CFO of a company. For you, that is the highest point of achievement (your destination). Start putting milestones for both the initial and later stage.
- You can also talk to seniors, alumni and acquaintances who have a similar profile as yours and are making progress in the career trajectory that you aspire to. This will definitely help you in figuring out your short-term and long-term professional achievements.
Describe how you organise yourself for a typical day.
- This is a question about self-management. To get more perspective on the notion of time management you can read 'Managing Oneself', by Peter F. Drucker.
- But, whatever you write, remember the 80-20 rule in mind. Your 80% of time has to be taken up by work or academics (for those who are doing undergrad). And the remaining 20% should be personal interest related, hobbies, spending time with family, etc.
- You can also mention the productivity techniques and tools you use to keep yourself on track. For eg - If you are a student who is preparing for final year college exam, thesis, MBA prep, placement, etc. You can talk about how time-tables, daily planners, to-do list and even the EverNote app helped you in getting things done.
What do you like to do in your leisure time?
- Don’t make up an interest or hobby.
- A big myth about writing or talking about hobbies during PIs or SOPs is that it has to sound intellectual – like reading a book, painting or writing.
- Watching anime, playing video games or even cooking can be a good hobby because all of those things need a presence of mind and shape your unique personality.
- Lastly, know about your hobby. You don’t have to be an expert but some degree of awareness will do you good.
Describe a situation where you had many things to do and you had to prioritise.
- In this question, they will be testing your time-management skills.
- Give excerpts from your life (preferably professional), which was significant and had a positive outcome because of decision-making skills.
- A person prioritises based on - context, time, energy, importance. Your situation can have any of those reasons.
- Mention the outcome. For eg - My decision led to fulfilment of customer needs with 2 days. Etc.
Do you consider ethics to be a limiting factor in doing business?
- The answer has to be NO!
- Ethics always guide one and forms the core of who you are or the organisation you work for.
- You can talk about the long term impact of being ethical and give real-life examples to prove your point.
Describe an incident in your life that has changed your perspective/outlook towards life.
- This could be something around your formative years like - 5th or 6th class,
- It could also be a book or person who either inspired or made you question yourself.
- Keep in mind that your story has to be interesting and should have a turning point (changed perspective).
- Write about the situations that help you grow into a better version of yourself.
- Political options are generally to be avoided. But, if you do then this is how you answer.
Describe a difficult situation when you encounter a conflict with senior/team/ colleague.
- Don’t say anything negative about your team member.
- Try to answer this question in a storytelling format like - Pixar Pitching: a deep structure of storytelling that involves six sequential sentences.
- Once upon a time, there was …
- Every day …
- One day …
- Because of that …
- Because of that …
- Until finally …
- When you are writing this answer - give context, share your resolution approach and what outcome did it bear.
Describe instances where you have been able to demonstrate leadership and team-building skills.
- Professional example will always be better than personal.
- Use ‘I’ when you are talking about leadership and use ‘we’ when you are talking about team-building.
- Don’t forget to mention the outcome.
Any other information that you have not pointed out before and that you consider may be relevant for the interview board.
- Please do not leave it blank.
- If not anything then mention your strengths and skills or include examples to strengthen your points.
- If you don’t have anything to add, just write something and work on it. You have one month to convert it to reality. For eg - if you are working in an office talking about CSR activities you are interested or working on.
General Tips To Keep In Your Mind
- Don’t take this form lightly. Write it as if this is the only assessment criteria based on which you will get selected.
- Avoid negative words, slang, jargon, and abbreviations.
- Keep your narrative simple and readable.
- Use the space well, don’t underplay or leave a question blank.
- Be honest, don’t be fake because you will get caught.
That is it for today! If you have any other interview form question that you are struggling with, then, please write them in the comments. We will try to help you out in the best way possible.